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Hospitality Interior Design Certificate Q&A: Melissa Pyell

March 5, 2022

Melissa Pyell, interior designer and creator of our new Hospitality Interior Design certificate, shares her insights on the new program and her predictions for the hospitality industry post-pandemic.

Melissa PyellHospitality Interior Design Certificate creator Melissa Pyell at The Peninsula Paris hotel.

What attracted you to a career in hospitality design?

I have always been an avid traveler and immersed myself into foreign cultures. Designing hospitality interiors feels closely aligned. I wanted to create environments that are not only beautiful, but also tell an authentic, interesting, and cultural story. Storytelling is an intrinsic part of hospitality interiors that I love.

What hospitality projects are you currently working on?

2022 is an exciting year as the hospitality sector makes a comeback. This year I will be designing luxury hotels, resorts and villas throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.

How does hospitality interior design differ from other types of interiors?

Hospitality interiors strive for an emotional connection with the guest which creates a memorable experience long after they leave. Factors such as ambiance, mood lighting, décor, and designing for the five senses make designing for hospitality unique – and in my opinion, more fun!

How has the hospitality industry been affected by the pandemic?

The pandemic has changed hospitality forever – there is a welcomed focus on sustainability, health & wellness. Guests expect hospitality owners to rethink the experience and welcome back guests in a responsible way. Now more than ever, designers can reinvent the next generation of hospitality. Hotels are realizing the needs for adaptable spaces and touchless technologies. The work-from-anywhere movement has resulted in more solo travelers and fueled new hospitality concepts such as bleisure travel, staycations, and co-living communities.


Hospitality Interior Design The new program teaches specifics for designing hotel public spaces and guestrooms. Shown here, concept research for a boutique hotel in the Galapagos Islands by student Emilia Uribe.


What sparked the idea to offer a Hospitality Interior Design Certificate at Parsons?

Parson’s Interior Design Certificate program continues to expand to offer add-on specialized certifications. Hospitality interior design is a niche industry that is hard to break into without experience, knowledge, and a portfolio. The Hospitality Interior Design Certificate was created to offer students that advantage.

What type of projects will students develop in the program?

Students will graduate the program having completed professional-level design presentations for a restaurant, bar, hotel lobby and guestroom.

Why is Parsons the right place to study Hospitality Design?

Our team has conducted extensive research to ensure this certificate is one-of-a-kind in the education world. While other schools offer hospitality certificates, none offer this amount of flexibility while learning the hospitality interior design process from practicing industry professionals. The certificate program consists of three online courses which can be taken from anywhere in the world.

What type of students & professionals can benefit from the Parsons Hospitality Interior Design Certificate?

The program caters to students, interior designers and architects who seek knowledge and skills specific to hospitality interior design. While the program does require some prerequisite design skills, the certificate might also interest hospitality developers and management who want a better understanding of hospitality interiors in order to manage the process. This certificate is offered standalone or as an accent to the Parsons interior design bachelor, master and certificate programs.


Hospitality Interior Design Students will learn to design their own restaurant & bar project. Shown here, floorplan for a restaurant in Barcelona by student Anja Cihoric.


What different career opportunities are out there for people with this skillset?

Hospitality interior design skills can lead to a career in a variety of industries: hotels, restaurants, entertainment, health & wellness, cruise ships, airports, sports, multi-family residential, and co-living.

Learn more about the Hospitality Interior Design certificate and enroll today!

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